Hello dear reader! My name is Ilia. I am a 20 years old/young communication student at the University of Zurich. I would consider myself a dog person, a tea lover, bookaholic and somewhat of a traveller. As you can tell from the titel of this post, I was born and partially raised in Bern – the capital of Switzerland. I would not really consider myself fully Swiss though as my English and Italian are a lot better than my German and the majority of my family is from Sardinia and since my boyfriend is English and I have lived in England for a while. But nonetheless, Bern is one heck of a beautiful city and I want to tell you about it:
What do I feel when I think of Bern?
I grew up in Bern and I have spent a lot of my teenage years in that part of Switzerland. One of my favourite things to do there was to go and see the bears at the Bärenpark in the summer. It was so much fun to go and see how they played together in the water or to hope that there had been a cub (which are the most adorable little creatures!).
Bern has got something very calming – whether it’s the fact the a large part of the city consists of very old buildings, or whether it’s the friendly people and the large amount of students and motivated youngsters – I’m not too sure myself but I’m glad I can call it „home“.
Culture, UNESCO and bookshops
The old town of Bern, that I mentionned above is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and I’m very happy that it is! In today’s fast growing world you never know if an old buidling is going to be knocked down for being „too old“ or „outdated“ – so knowing that this won’t happen with this city is reassuring. I think Bern has got a lot of hidden treasures:
One of them being the Einstein Kaffee – a café and museum of Albert Einstein’s apartment when he was living in Bern while he was working on his famous E=mc2 formula. I used to go there all the time to study for upcoming exams and knowing that something so groundbreakig had been found out there was great motivation for myself!
Books have always been a HUGE part of my life and it’s crazy how I can get lost in a good story. Bern is full of independent bookshops where you can discover loads of old and new books. Me and one of my childhood friends used to rummage through these shops and it made us feel like we were sitting in Flourish and Blotts or in some other magical place.
I can’t go a whole post without talking about food and there are 2 places I would like to share. Not only because they’re yummy but also because they have always been a part of my life in Bern.
1. Gelateria di Berna – Freshly made Italian style ice cream. In my opinion the best ice cream I have ever eaten in Europe (apart from Italy of course). One of the places is right next to the public swimming pool and – oh boy – did I eat a lot of ice cream in the summer! This is definitely one thing I’m going to miss this spring and summer (1 scoop of peanutbutter with 1 scoop of dark chocolate – if you were wondering)
2. Desperados – a Mexican restaurant/bar that make the best nachos and mojitos! Me and my friends from school used to go there every time we had had an exam, we passed an exam or we miserabily failed one! But everytime we left we felt a lot happier…whether it was the guacamole or the white rum will remain a mistery.
So! Next time you consider visiting Switzerland I would definitely include Bern. And make sure to go to the places that locals would go to and don’t just do the tourist-y stuff. It’ll be a lot more enjoyable and unique!
Ilia from Ilia’s Cup of Tea